China men's volleyball team in action during the match against Chinese Taipei in the Asian zone qualification tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, in Jiangmen, Guangdong Province, China, January 8, 2020. (Photos: CGTN)
China's men's volleyball team faced Chinese Taipei in their second match at the Asian zone qualification tournament for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, and won the match 3-2.
Team China will be proceeding to the semifinals with two straight wins, having claimed a win already against Kazakhstan earlier in the preliminary round.
China had a tough beginning in the match. With strong performances from players such as Liu Hungmin, Chinese Taipei won the first set 25-15 without much hassle.
In the second set, after China's head coach Shen Fulin made player substitutions, the team successfully took it to an 11-2 lead, and maintained dominance to win the next set 25-16, making it even after the first two sets.
Chinese Taipei exhibited strong performance in the third set and earned the set point. A great dig from China extended the rally, and the players managed to keep it going. However, Chinese Taipei took the win of the third set 25-23, after they blocked a spike from China's Dai Junyao.
In the fourth set, with powerful blocking from Zhang Zhejia and spikes from team captain Jiang Chuan, China evened the match with a 25-22 win.
The two were neck to neck in the beginning of the deciding set. China raced to an 8-5 lead on the back of a 3-0 run capped by Zhang Zhejia's smash and went on to seal the victory.
China will be playing against Iran on Thursday night, decisive for the top finisher of the group. The two teams are both on a 2-0 win-loss record, and have secured their berths in the semifinals of the tournament.